232
SOFT SKILLS
has also mastered your cultures body language. For example, people
in the US and Canada say ‘no’ by shaking their heads back and forth
but people in Bulgaria nod up and down, people in Japan move their
right hand and people in Sicily raise their chin. Similarly, US business
people assume that a person who doesnt meet their gaze, is evasive and
dishonest. However, in many parts of Asia, keeping ones eyes lowered is
a sign of respect.
16
Likewise, an Arab man indicates a romantic interest
in a woman by running a hand backward across his hair but most
Westerners would not see such gestures as signi cant. Conversely, an
Egyptian might mistakenly assume that a Westerner who exposes the
sole of his or her shoe is o ering a grave insult.
17
Similarly, calling someone by raising your hand, then taking your
index  nger and wiggling it towards you is considered rude in places
like China, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.  ere, if you want
to get someones attention, you put your arm out with your palm down,
and then make scratching motions with your  ngers.
18
Proxemics: Proxemics or spatial relationships is your appreciation
and sensible use of space while communicating with others.  is
appreciation and sensible use of space’ di ers from culture to culture.
People in Canada and the US usually stand about 5 feet apart during
a business conversation. However, this distance is uncomfortably close
FIG. 12.2 Components of Communication (Non-Verbal) Diversity
Soft Skill_12.indd Sec1:232Soft Skill_12.indd Sec1:232 4/28/09 5:18:54 PM4/28/09 5:18:54 PM

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